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Pregnant

  • Claudia Schiffer Stripes It Up With Her Maternity Style

    Supermodel Claudia Schiffer, 39, is expecting her third child with hubby Matthew Vaughn! The happy couple, who wed in 2002, is very excited for the birth of their child, telling the Daily Mail “We are delighted with the news and can't wait to add to our family.” They sure make one duo of stylish parents! Due this May, Claudia has already been spotted out and about in some super cute and comfortable outfits. From her day to evening wear, I cannot wait to see what the rest of her maternity and postpartum style will bring.

    One of my favorite outfits of hers exemplifies a hot trend for expectant mothers: stripes. We have always been told to not wear stripes, as they can widen our shape. When done correctly, however, stripes are chic and refreshing! Out in London this month, Claudia pairs a short black and white striped dress with leggings. Comfortable yet stylish, this look is great for daytime or for dressing up at night. Keeping stripes thinner provides a modern and flattering look, and pairing a colored stripe against white is fresh and hip. A striped dress made of wool works well for cooler months while a cotton alternative is great as summer approaches.

    Back in August, Ellen Pompeo was spotted on a day outing wearing a similar style. Her thinly striped dress looked comfy and trendy, perfect for going out to lunch or running errands. When paired with cute flats or sandals, an instant stylish outfit is created.

    While both Claudia and Ellen demonstrated a more casual look with stripes, Jenna Elfman showed how to take them from day to night on her January 4th appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Maintaining the same idea with a black and white striped dress paired with skinny jeans, she made it a nighttime look by choosing a dress with sparkle and pairing it with heels and a trendy coat. A structured blazer would look great with this outfit as well, and adding some gorgeous jewelry will take your look right into evening. These small touches can really change the look of an entire outfit. In another evening look which demonstrates a great way to wear stripes, Jenna rocked an asymmetrical striped sweater dress on the red carpet in October. The asymmetrical stripes provide a trendy look while elongating your upper body.

    As Claudia, Ellen, and Jenna demonstrate, stripes, when worn correctly, are fun and stylish. Doing an all over stripe is too much, but pairing a cute dress or great top with a neutral bottom is a flattering way to wear this trend. Whether you choose to wear your favorite pair of jeans or a comfy pair of leggings, a striped top or dress looks great.

    For a casual, comfortable, yet very flattering look try pairing the ¾ Sleeve Striped Nursing Henley from 1 in the Oven with a great pair of jeans. You will look gorgeous and feel comfortable. With spring coming, bright colors and fine stripes make a great combination for a refreshing new look. Maternal America’s Crochet Top with thin asymmetrical stripes creates visual interest and really adds style and flare to any outfit. Whether you pair it with jeans, khakis, or capris, a fresh look for spring is sure to be created. A good work appropriate look which demonstrates the stripe trend is the Side Cinch Maternity/Nursing Top with Cami from Japanese Weekend. The thin stripes look great paired with black slacks, creating a professional look that could also easily be taken into the evening.

    Whichever look you decide to wear, making sure that you are comfortable and confident is the number one priority. If you are confident and feel great, you will bring your own touch to any outfit. Congratulations again, Claudia and Matthew! We can’t wait to see your newest addition (as well as Claudia’s great maternity style)!

  • No Baby Blues For Olympic Skater Isabel Delobel

    I must say Olympic athletes are truly an inspiring group of people! Only 4 months after giving birth to her baby girl Lois, French competitor Isabel Delobel competed in the Vancouver Olympics in Ice Dancing with her longtime partner, Oliver Schoenfelder.

    Although they did not medal, they did have a strong 6th place finish overall. In addition to the pregnancy hurtle, Isabel also had to deal with a shoulder injury and surgery last January. But, Isabel had no excuses, only a positive attitude going into the Games:

    "My pregnancy went very well and my shoulder is fine too so I'm feeling in very good shape now."

    delobelThe French competitor, 31, and her partner Olivier Schoenfelder, 32, were the 2008 world champions. Last night’s Olympic performance in the Free Skate was the “Last Dance” of their 20-year skating partnership.

    Training with baby

    Their program for the Original Dance was the French Cancan and Jacques Brel's 'La Quete' in the free programme."We put our soul into the free programme which is like a conclusion to our 20 years working together," added Delobel.

    Delobel fought hard to lose 20 pounds of baby weight after gbing birth to bay Lois on Oct 1st. (She wed Lois’ father , Olympic-bronze medalist Ludovic Roux in the summer of 2009). Delobel was back on the ice just three weeks after giving birth.

    She told the Washington Post that losing the baby weight “was the most work, the hardest work I did all my life.”

    Delobel continued to skate while she was pregnant and worked carefully with her trainers. She says that she had to cut back on jumps and quick turns so she would not be in danger of falling. Her partner admits to the challenges of preparing for the Olympics with his pregnant partner. He told the Post:

    “Of course there is some frusteration. You want to go fast and you can’t because you have to go step by step.” They also had to hold off on practicing elements like lifts while Delobel was pregnant.

    Although Delobel didn’t win the gold, she has no regrets. She calls giving birth “the best event in your life – different than the Olympics. It gives me serenity.”

  • Iron Chef Host Padma Lakshmi Has Baby Girl

    Iron Chef Host Padma Lakshmi Has Baby Girl

    It’s a girl for Padma Lakshmi! Padma Lakshmi

    Model, author and Emmy-nominated host of ‘Top Chef’’ gave birth on Saturday to a baby girl named Krishna Thea Kakshmi. This is especially joyous news to Lakshmi who suffers from endometriosis, a painful uterine condition which can lead to infertility.

    Padma, who announced her pregnancy last October said it was a “miracle” that she got pregnant.

    Lakshmi joked last fall “I actually can’t button my jeans anymore. Up until about a week ago I could. There’s just too much pressure, so I’ve had to put them away for now.” ‘Sounds like Lakshmi could have used a Bellaband to get her through a few more weeks!

    During her pregnancy, the ‘Top Chef’ host said she hadn’t “really had any cravings. There was a week-and-a-half when I was really craving a cinnamon donut. Then I had a cinnamon donut, and it was like “Eh.” I mean, it ws OK, but that was it. And then it was over.”

    According to reports, mother and child are doing well, which is great news.

  • Kristie Moore Pregnant Olympic Athlete Going For The Gold!

    I have to admit curling is a sport I lacked enthusiasm for until I heard about Kristie Moore, an alternate to the Team Canada curling team, Kristie Moore photowho is 5½ months pregnant. This makes Moore the third pregnant athlete to compete in the modern-era Olympics and the first to compete well into her 2nd trimester.

    Diana Sartor of Germany was brave enough (or crazy enough!) to compete in the skeleton in 2006 and actually finished 4th place! In the more distant past, Swedish figure skater Magda Julin won a gold medal at the Antwerp Games some 90 years ago while in her first trimester.

    Moore, who is 30 years old, did not find out about her pregnancy until a few weeks team Canada invited her to join the team. The team has been very supportive of her visible pregnancy. Team Canada leader Cheryl Bernard told Yahoo Sports, "she is young and fit. There's no reason we'll have any problems, and she'll be out there."

    curling photoIn a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, Moore said her pregnancy has not impacted her ability to participate on the team, but may have been more of an issue if she was closer to her due date:

    “[In] the eighth month or so, that might be an issue,” she told Yahoo Sports.

    Team Canada is a favorite for a Gold Medal in the curling event in Vancover. Even if Moore does not compete as an alternate, she will still get to take home a gold medal for her participation on the team if Team Canada wins. Not a bad baby shower gift!

    Moore’s participation in Olympic competition while in her 2nd trimester of pregnancy is incentive enough for any pregnant women to get off the couch and exercise and also to continue to pursue her dreams during pregnancy and beyond!

  • Maternity Styling - Rich Colors Rock The Red Carpet In Celebrity Fashion

    As the awards season gets started this year and actors walk the red carpet, fashion blogs and celebrity magazines got their cameras rolling and pens ready. Which designers would the stars turn to? Who would wear a classic dress? Who would step out of the box and wear something totally unexpected? As lights flashed and the actors arrived, one theme became clear: colors. And not just any colors, but bold, beautiful, and deep colors, some almost jewel-like. From ruby reds to jeweled teals to quartz purple, rich and bold colors stood out on the red carpet. Celebrities such as Tina Fey, Cameron Diaz, Lea Michelle and Amy Adams

    Tina Fey

    Tina Fey

    Cameron Diaz

    Cameron Diaz

    (you've got to love an expectant mom rocking the red carpet), all sported vibrant colors in their gown selections, making bold statements.

    The great thing about rich colors is that they are incredibly versatile and look beautiful next to any skin tone or hair color. While nudes or grays can wash out many people, deep colors play up your best features and really make a statement. As super-chic and famed celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe writes in her fun fashion guide, "...rich jewel tones tend to look good on almost everyone... Pale or dark, my clients tend to look best in colors that are rich and bold... These are colors that pop and look striking on just about anyone."

    This example is clear with the dresses seen at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards this year. Sandra Bullock

    Sandra Bullock

    Sandra Bullock

    Gabourey Sidebe

    Gabourey Sidebe

    looked gorgeous in a deep quartz purple gown, Gabourey Sidebe

    looked glamorous in a bold blue dress, and Lea Michelle shown in a stunning jeweled teal gown. Whether you are fair skinned or darker, have brown hair or blonde, most deep and bold colors are complimentary to your coloring.

    While these rich tones look gorgeous on a red carpet with the cameras flashing, they look equally as good in day to day life. A deep purple blouse or a cute red cami looks great paired with a pair of dark wash denim jeans. Pair a sapphire blue top with a cute skirt and you have a winning combination. When pregnant, a gorgeous empire waist top in a vibrant color or a cute wrap dress in a rich hue is an excellent addition to your wardrobe.

    Amy Adams

    Amy Adams

    Lea Michelle

    Lea Michelle

    If looking for a maternity top to wear daily, from work to an evening out, a great choice is the Teal D&A Sash Maternity/Nursing Top from Japanese Weekend. This gorgeous teal color will make you feel radiant, and a deep v-neck and empire waist are figure flattering. This look and color is work appropriate yet also perfect for an evening out.

    Another great maternity option is the Knit Flutter Top from Maternal America. A rich fuchsia color combined with a flattering flutter front design looks great with anything from jeans and flats to black pants and heels. Consider some gorgeous color options as you add to your spring wardrobe!

    Ginnifer Goodwin

    Ginnifer Goodwin

    Just as bold colors look good on cute tops, they look also great on dresses. From flowing summer dresses to the classic cocktail dress, a rich color makes a statement. Classic black is always elegant and beautiful, but switching it up with an emerald green or sapphire blue really makes a statement. For an evening out or a special work party, the Embellished Dress from Maternal America is a twist on the standard cocktail dress and is sure to make a splash. Deep plum in color, it has a jeweled neckline and an empire waist which truly make a statement. Classic in shape yet modern in color, it is the perfect dress for that special evening. If looking for something a bit more casual, Maternal America's Front Tie Dress is another fantastic option. Splashes of bright blues really sparkle on this sleeveless dress, perfect for warm weather days.

    From amethyst purple to emerald green, jewel tones are vibrant and beautiful. These highly saturated colors make a statement as a cute top or a stylish dress. Adding these colors to your wardrobe will spice up your day to day wear!

  • Swim During Your Pregnancy!

    If you are looking for a great workout that is safe while you are pregnant, than consider swimming. Swimming is one of the safest forms of exercising, assuming you know how to swim and are not learning for the first time when you are pregnant. Swimming improves circulation, builds endurance, burns calories and exercises both arms and legs. Because of the weightlessness and the low-impact to tendons and ligaments, swimming poses a very low risk of injury although you should check with your doctor or midwife before taking the plunge.

    It is important to stay well hydrated when swimming, and easy to forget as you are surrounded by water. There is no hard and fast guideline for how much to drink, but stayed tuned into your body and try to drink before you swim and every 20-30 minutes when swimming and also when you get out of the pool. If it is hot then you will need to drink more. Also, stay away from hot pools or saunas as they can overheat you and your growing fetus.

    For some women, swimming first thing in the morning can counteract morning sickness and energize them for their day. If you swam regularly before you were pregnant, there is no reason why you can't continue during pregnancy, just pace yourself and do not overexert yourself. The water does help keep you from in the hot sun, which is one of the great benefits of swimming versus other forms of exercise in the warm summer months. It also supports your ligaments and joints that tend to be a little looser during pregnancy and more prone to injury during high impact workouts.

    By your second semester you will probably need to invest in a maternity swimsuit to fit your changing body more comfortably. It is important that you do not constrict your belly or bust with minimizing non-pregnancy styles that may cut down circulation to your growing tummy and compress changing breasts. Maternity swimwear is made with more stretch in styles that are designed for women's ever changing pregnant body which is important to the health of you and your baby.

    If you are looking for a classic lap maternity swimsuit, then check out Prego Maternity's Empire Tank.

    Prego Maternity Empire Tank

    Prego Maternity Empire Tank

     This suit provides superior bust support with adjustable straps, molded cups and a bra hook in the back for maximum performance. This suit comes in both navy and black and has plenty of stretch in the tummy for all trimesters of your pregnancy.

    If you opt for a little more style in your suit for a water aeobics class or just playing in the pool, then Maternal America has a number of cute new tankini styles this season to check out. My favorite is the Jenni Tribal Tankini that has adjustable hip sash ties and a halter tie on the top that can also be worn as a mini with the ties bowed in front. The tribal pattern is super cute with an O-ring accent in front and black bikini bottoms.

    The blue colors are especially in vogue this spring and summer. Maternal America's Diamond Josie Halter Tankini

    Maternal America Diamond Tank

    Maternal America Diamond Tank

    showcases a sporty blue diamond pattern with adjustable halter ties and bottom sash ties. If you opt for solids, then check out their Carrie Tankini which comes in a memorizing royal blue shade. This strong blue looks great on all skin tones and blondes and brunettes alike. The stylish sweetheart cut with padded bra and ruching is super flattering across the chest. The sash tie bikini bottoms are adjustable for your changing size.

    In a softer blue/aqua shade, Maternal America has a new color take on their classic Flutter Halterkini. This style can be worn as a string halter or mini if you bow the halter strings in front. The lightweight mesh fabric across the belly is a great alternative to a bikini if you don't really want to bare all, but show only hint of skin. It is also a great style for growing bellies as you can comfortably wear this style through your third trimester with no constriction on your belly. Side ties on the bikini bottom can be adjusted to fit comfortably.

    If you like a cute mini style suit, then take a look at Prego Maternity's South Seas Strapless Mini. This suit is absolutely adorable with big aqua flowers and foliage set against a chocolate backdrop with solid chocolate bottoms. There is also a detachable halter string that comes with the suit for a halter style.

    Swimming can help you and your baby's health during all stages of your pregnancy. So consult with your doctor or midwife before embarking on a serious swimming exercise regime and use your own good judgment.

  • What to Wear In the Hospital When You Have Your Baby

    Whether you have a planned C-Section or are planning for a natural delivery, be prepared with your hospital bag packed well ahead of time. Here are some essentials to help personalize your hospital stay and make the job of having a baby away from home more comfortable:

    Pack Granny Panties

    If you are having a C-Section, your incision will be right at the bikini line, which is precisely where most low cut panties elastic bands will hit. You don't want to irritate a scar with rubbing at this incision point or cause you any pain. High rise panties totally miss this point and will not irritate your bandaged incision. Even with a vaginal delivery, you will have much more comfort in a high rise roomy panty that can hold big pads, which btw, is what you will be living in for at least the first few days as your uterus contracts and you heal from birth.

    Bring Your Own Hospital Gown

     

    1 in the Oven Hospital Gown1 in the Oven has some wonderful cotton Hospital Gowns in both short and long sleeve. These gowns are far more flattering than the ones you get at the hospital and have built in slits in the front pleats for nursing access. They come in some beautiful pastel shades and now in organic cotton as well.

     

    If you want a more classic Delivery Gown, but not with the boring washed out pattern you get at the hospital, take a look at the Dear Johnnies collection. Their Delivery gowns are all made of 100% cotton and come in an array of beautiful patterns which differ by name. Dear Johnnie LucyThey are also sized as S/M and L/XL which helps in attaining a better fit than the one size fits all you get at the hospital. These gowns are designed to be worn during surgery, labor delivery and outpatient treatment. They also have snaps along the shoulders which make for easy nursing access without opening in the pleats which is nice when you are not nursing and don't wont to worry about "popping out" which is often a problem with the typical hospital gown.

    Bring a Wrap Robe

    Whether it is summer or winter, hospitals can be chilly. If you are planning on staying a few days, as most of us are required to do following birthing a child, you may want to bring a robe to knock the chill off. Robes are great to throw on over your hospital gown if want to pace the hallways or greet visitors in your room. You will feel far better and more in control in your own robe then huddling in hospital blankets. You will also look 100% better for your first photos with your newborn. Wrap robes work the best, particularly maternity wrap robes, as you can adjust the size to what fits the best and is most comfortable. Also, wrap robes are perfect for discreetly and comfortably nursing your baby. Check out Bellabumbum's selection of 100% cotton maternity robes.

    Bring Some Music

    Unfortunately the business of having babies is not a quick event for most of us, particularly if it is your first child. Make your stay more enjoyable and help pass the time (and the pain) with your personal selection of music. Chances are your mood may shift dramatically throughout the hours that you labor, so pack a variety of DVDs that vary from slow to faster beat. You will not be in the mood to wear a headset or ear phones, so make sure you bring a regular DVD player. Also pack music that you may enjoy postpartum as you will probably be at the hospital for a few days and will most likely quickly bore of the limited channels available on hospital room TVs. You may want to pack some soothing music that your baby will enjoy as well and even to help him (and you) sleep.

    Bring Your Own Pillow and Boppy

    Hospitals are not in short supply of pillows but no pillow is quite as good as your own pillow and it is the surest way for you to get quality rest. Also bring a couple of pillow cases as the hospital's will probably not fit right and you may need to change your pillow case while you are there as postpartum women are prone to night sweats during the early weeks. If you plan to nurse your baby, remember to bring a boppy as this rounded nursing aid can greatly help your baby's nursing positioning and your personal comfort when you are trying to establish a latch in those first days of nursing.

    Coming prepared to the hospital with your own things makes delivery and recovery that much easier and your whole birthing experience all the more personal. Not everyone can have a home birth, but you may as well allow yourself the comforts of home during your stay in the hospital.

  • Why Buy Formula When You Can Nurse For Cheap!

     The next time you think twice about investing in a quality nursing bra or indulging in a fashionable nursing top, hestitate no further. The yearly cost of breastfeeding is in the range of $3,000, that’s about $50 a week! It will take you a lot of nursing bras to surpass that cost, plus it is better for your baby’s health, as well as your own. Not to mention, the added side benefits of weight loss as breastfeeding burns around 500 calories a day, that’s 20 calories for the production of just 1 ounce of milk, without even setting foot on a treadmill! Add exercise and healthy eatting to the equation and your back in your pre-pregnancy body in no time!

    A recent style conducted by the Schneider Children’s Hospital revealed that unfrozen refrigerated breastmilk retains its benefits for at least 4 days. This is longer than the common notion promoted by doctors who recommended 48-72 hours. This study which involved 36 new mothers whose premature babies were being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, found that there was vitually no change in the nutional integrity or bacterial presence of their breastmilk for up to 96 hours. Dr. Richard Schanler, chief of neonatal medicine at Schneider Children’s Hospital, hopes that study will shift the paradigm for hospitals everywhere by allowing women to store their unfrozen milk up to 4 days for the neonatal care which has even stricter rules due to the immunity of premature infants.[1]

    The Human Milk Banking Association of North American has suggested that human milk remains viable refrigerated for up to eight days. Dr. Schanlar and his colleagues recommend storing milk in glass containers or plastics BPA ones and refrigerate at a temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. They also recommend placing milk in the rear of the refrigerator.

    This study gives working women and moms on the go one more reason to breastfeed. Pumping and feeding can be more challenging to plan out and nobody wants to “pump and dump” milk that their baby can’t drink in time, especially moms that have to travel away from their babies several days at a time. Now moms can be assured that pumped refrigerated milk, even up to 8 days old, contains all the necessary nutritional ingrediants and far more than frozen breastmilk thawed out and certainly more than fresh formula.

    Although freezing breastmilk is an alternative storing method and certainly effective for longer time periods, there is also a destruction to the infection-fighting cells and nutrional losses.

    “Certain immune components, proteins and enzymes are decreased in frozen milk” Dr. Schanler states.

    Most babies prefer the taste of fresher milk, but even thawed out breastmilk is nutrionally superior to manufactured cow milk formula and much cheaper. If you have a caretaker, make sure you instruct them with the proper guidelines for gently thawing out milk that has been frozen. Here is the recommended procedure and Storage Times for Human Milk from the AskDrSears.com site. [2]

    • Defrost milk by holding it under warm running water.
    • Or, place the container of milk in a bowl of warm water on the kitchen counter. As the water cools, replace it with more warm water until the milk is thawed and warmed to body temperature.
    • Do not heat expressed human milk on top of the stove. It's too easy to overheat it this way. Do not boil!
    • Do not heat expressed human milk in a microwave oven. Even if the overall temperature of the milk stays below body temperature, there may be "hot spots" where the milk is overheated and some of its beneficial properties are destroyed. The uneven heating can also be dangerous when the bottle is given to baby.
    • Human milk, like any milk that is not processed or homogenized, tends to separate when stored. The cream rises to the top. Swirl the bottle gently to mix the layers.
    • Human milk has a thin, bluish look to it, quite different from either homogenized cow's milk or the grayish color of infant formula. Your baby's caregiver may need reassurance that this is normal.

    STORAGE GUIDELINES FOR HUMAN MILK

    These guidelines are for mothers who are expressing milk for a full-term healthy baby. Use clean containers, and wash your hands with soap and water before expressing. or pumping. When providing milk for a baby who is seriously ill and/or hospitalized, check with healthcare providers for instructions.

    Where stored

    Storage temperature
    (degrees Fahrenheit)

    Storage temperature
    (degrees Centigrade)

    How long

    At room temperature 60 degrees F 15 degrees C 24 hours
    At room temperature 66-72 degrees F 19-22 degrees C 10 hours
    At room temperature 79 degrees F 25 degrees C 4-6 hours
    In a refrigerator 32-39 degrees F 0-4 degrees C 8 days
    In a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator     2 weeks
    In a self-contained freezer unit of a refrigerator     3-4 months
    In a separate deep freeze with a constant temperature 0 degrees F -19 degrees C 6 months or longer

    SAVE? OR DUMP?

    Type of Milk

    Save or Dump?

    Why

         
    Milk remaining in the bottle that has been offered to baby Use for next feeding, otherwise discard. Bacteria from the baby's mouth may have entered the milk during the feeding. This may lead to bacterial contamination if it sets too long (though as yet there is no research available).
    Milk that has been thawed Save in the refrigerator for 24 hours after thawing, then discard. Do not refreeze. Milk that has been frozen has lost some of the immune properties that inhibit bacterial growth in fresh refrigerated milk.
    Milk that has been kept in the refrigerator for eight days Transfer to storage in the freezer, or discard. Bacterial growth is not a problem, but milk sometimes picks up odors or flavors from the refrigerator or the container.

     The bottom line is it is worth your time to breastfeed or pump and feed your baby for at least their first year. You can be assured your refrigerated breast milk is not only safe for your baby but far superior than any store bought representation. You can also feel good about saving money on formula in allowing your baby to reap the health benefits of your 100% natural and organic breast milk.

    References:

    1. Ricks, Delthia. "Study finds breast milk has longer shelf life than previously thought" Physorg.com. January 2, 2010, Accessed January 24, 2010.
    2. AskDrSears.com, “Storage Guidelines for Human Milk”

     


    [1]Ricks, Delthia. "Study finds breast milk has longer shelf life than previously thought" Physorg.com. January 2, 2010, Accessed January 24, 2010.

    [2] AskDrSears.com, “Storage Guidelines for Human Milk”

  • Take Control of Your Birth

    As you due date approaches you may gaze longingly at the calendar hoping to fast-forward time to that magical date that your doctor and every online due date calendar has bestowed upon you for the “big day.” Although only about 5% of babies are actually born on their due date, it’s nice to have a target in mind so you can at least organize your life and feel some control over your body and your future. As you get increasing closer to your due date in the last trimester, oftentimes the due date anticipation can become overshadowed by due date anxiety, particularly for first time moms. We all hear the birth horror stories of long hours of pushing, last minute c-sections and the overall agonizing pain of labor which can hit anytime in those final weeks and days. We hope and pray we will have some control of the details surrounding our babies introduction to the world and that it can be as pleasant of an experience as possible if not a joyful one.

    Well, it turns out we do have more control than we think. Women’s bodies are actually designed for childbirth and for having a child naturally, should we choose to do so. If we opt in advance, or even last minute, for some additional medical assistance in the way of labor induction or painkillers, that’s ok too.  The nice thing is that we do have options; we can plan a homebirth, a birthing center birth or a hospital birth. We can opt for a midwife, a doula, and/or a doctor and whatever company we want in the room. Our husbands can be trained as a birth partner to share in the experience and help us through our hardest moments as well as share in the triumph of our baby’s birth. We can train in Lamaze, yoga, hypnotism and any number or breathing, self-visualizing and relaxation techniques. Gyms have countless classes for expecting women, salons have special prenatal massages and yoga classes have created an industry around expecting and postpartum mothers and their newborns.

    The biggest obstacle for most expecting women is themselves and not trusting in their bodies for labor and delivery. Doctors are there to help and monitor us through labor if we go with a hospital birth, but they cannot birth our baby. It is our bodies that nourish and birth our baby and perform the contractions necessary to carry out this process. It is easy to feel that once we put that hospital gown on and get hooked up to monitors that we no longer own our bodies or our birthing process, but we do.

     The best way to seek control over the birthing experience is to create a Birthing Plan. Know and map out in advance what your ideal birthing scenario would be. Decide who you would like present at your birth, obviously where you would like to give birth. Should you opt for a home birth you will need to make those preparations with a midwife well in advance. You should know exactly what essentials are needed for that for a home birth down to the details of bedding and clean-up and a back-up hospital plan should you need more help as our labor progresses and in case any emergency that should arise.

    Many women planning hospital births are further helped by a Birth Plan that they can review in advance with their doctor and loved ones who will support them during labor. Your husband or birthing support members may need to help communicate their needs during the labor process, so having your “team” on board with your exact wishes will provide your with further assurance and emotional support. It will also help you relax as you approach your due date and enable you to visualize and anticipate your labor in a positive way.

    The next important step is to pack your hospital bag well in advance. Pack all the props your need for labor support including your favorite CDS and music mix, tennis balls for back message, change of clothes for during and after labor, a camera for those first newborn photos, nursing bras and possibly nursing pajamas or nighties to wear at the hospital for after you have or baby.  Also pack for your baby including the baby sleepers, socks and blankets (as well as your carseat!) so your can feel your baby is your own and not the hospital’s and also to make those first pictures all the more personable and memorable.

    Overall, the more action you take in advance to plan your birth and your early postpartum days from readying your baby’s nursery to “coaching” your doctor, midwife and loved ones on your preferred birth plan, the more in control and relaxed you can be for your big day. Remember, your body is your best friend, so set the stage for it to do what it is designed for in the most relaxing, personal and friendly setting possible and you will be rewarded.

  • Maternity Clothes For Your Body Type

    When you are pregnant, suddenly your shape and size are changing daily. What looks used to work well and flatter your figure may suddenly look ridiculous or unflattering on your evolving frame. This can be particularly challenging around the Holiday Season or for more dress-up occasions when you really want to look your best and not let pregnancy get in the way. Here are some general guidelines to dressing when pregnant according to you shape:

    Generally When Pregnant
    When you are pregnant don't be afraid to show some skin. A pregnant body can be very sensual and you still have great assets. So don't be shy about showing off great legs or pretty arms, shoulders or going strapless. Be sure to define your shape the way your like it. You want some definition to you pregnant belly without going uncomfortably skin tight. Grecian can be flattering as it can drape over your curves to show off the gist of your belly without showing your belly button in detail. However, too big equates to baggy which only makes you look bigger. An empire waist looks that are more contained look great on almost any pregnant body type. Belting dresses beneath the bust can create this look. Deep shades like teal and plum that are popular this season are flattering on pregnant shapes, particularly if you are further along than busy patterns or metallics

    Busty
    If you are the busty type you are probably three times more busty when you are expecting. Your body has taken on new dimensions and everything you try on seems to be accentuated by your pronounced cleavage. A good look to try to de-emphasize the chest is a flirty dress in one shade. By sticking to one shade of color your figure becomes elongated and you look much leaner and slimmer.

    Also going with a more tailored or structured dress that gives you a clear silhouette, you better define your shape. For example, instead of going hippie chic, go with better bust support and strong vertical pleats. A hemmed and pleated knee length flirty dress with a structured chest and wide straps will do wonders for your figure. Finally, always look to support and lift. Forget strapless or backless dresses as you will never find the level of support you need. Always look for a dress or top with wide enough shoulder straps for a supportive bra.

    Hippy
    A skirt or dress with inverted pleats keeps hips looking narrower. An A-line skirt is also a good choice for camouflaging hips. Even just a flared hem de-emphasizes the hips. Again choose structure in defining your silhouette so you show off a small empire waist and don't get swallowed in something loose and baggy. Remember to show off your best assets, so if you have pretty shoulders, flaunt them with a sleeveless bodice dress, strapless or one shoulder style. Draw attention to your best body parts up high - look for a jeweled neckline or brighter colors around the face or neck. Even wearing some bling jewelry will keep the gaze upwards.

    Petite
    If you are petite and you don't want to tower in platform shoes or stilettos when you are pregnant, there are some other tricks to add some length to your frame. If you have great legs, then show them off. Go for shorter hems and sheerer hose to elongate your shape. Show off some skin somewhere- arms and necklines are a great place to start. Pleats and bubble hem can work well if its not overdone - you want to add some volume without looking like a powder puff. Accessorize smartly. A few well chosen pieces that don't weigh you down is all you need to add some height.

    Tall
    If you are tall, then you have a lot of choices. Tall frames can get away with prints and patterns, horizontal stripes and all the usual hazards most women need to avoid can actually be more flattering when tall. Do make sure your clothing fits you well. Beware of cuts that tent out and make you appear bigger than you are or that miss your curves. Sleek and fitted always looks better no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy. Do be careful with super short hemlines and minis as they can make you look like a giant whose clothes got shrunk in the dryer. Otherwise, have fun with accessories as you can get away with more to wear as you have more space to fill!

    So whatever your shape, find some maternity clothes that fit and flatter your figure and make you feel as beautiful and sexy and as you truly are. Bottom line, if you feel great in the clothes you are in, then you will project that to those around you.

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